Published on April 14, 2022 by Ashley Smith  
Ethan Ellis

Samford’s School of the Arts Annual Juried Student Exhibition concluded with a reception and awards event April 7 to present art and design awards, endowed scholarships and announce the winners of the Annual Juried Student Exhibition. Hosted by Lauren Evans, assistant professor of art and gallery coordinator, the event was attended by students, faculty, parents and friends of the arts. The show was sponsored by Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman and part of the Clarence Brooks Art and Design Series.

This year’s Annual Juried Student Exhibition included 43 pieces that were selected from over 150 entries by guest juror Jamaal Barber. The show featured work from graphic design, game design and 3D animation, interior design, architecture and studio art students.

Show winners were chosen by Barber who was impressed by the quality of student work. Best in Show went to architecture major Ethan Hillis for his work Spirit of Ecstasy. Olivia Easterling took second place for her entryMia.  Natalie Myers was awarded third place for Still Life.  Merit awards were given to students in each area of study: Studio Art: Audrey Hawley, Untitled; Graphic Design : Sarah Gentry, A Flea Market on King’s Day; Game Design: Jessica Southworth, Armored Giant ; Interior Design and Architecture: Kayli Leonard, Allison Grace Lee, Joe Turner, Liv Kolling, Viewpoint.

“For shows like this, I try to remind students that, by submitting to the show, they are providing a strong pool of works from which the juror can curate a dynamic exhibition. This means that just because something isn’t selected, doesn’t necessarily mean the work is of any lower quality. Juried shows are particularly exciting when the juror selects works based, not only on merit, but through making connections between the works. The works in this year’s juried student show really talk to one another! As I worked to arrange the show, after the juror made his selections, I was delighted to discover so many rich threads connecting the chosen works. Jamaal Barber juried a fantastic show, which wouldn’t have been possible without the strength of talent to choose from!” said Evans. 

The Dean’s Awards were selected by Larry Thompson, interim dean of the School of the Arts and will be displayed in his office during the coming year.  Recipients included Cassidy King-Pinecone, Kam Watson-The Less I Know the Better, Katy Thomas-Nostalgia Series, Chrissy Williamsen-Untitled and  Audrey Hawley-Untitled.

Endowed scholarships, academic awards and medals were also announced. Professor and chair of the Department of Architecture and Interior Design Jeannie Krumdieck presented the department awards. Friends of the Arts award went to rising junior Andrew Aho. Sarah Hudson received the Michael J. Hubbs Interior Design Award. Spencer Weddle received the Architecture Recognition Award.

Professor and chair of the Department of Art Scott Fisk announced the art awards. Jessica Southworth received the Lowell Vann Endowed Scholarship.  Lauren Bell received the Trevlyn Grace Campbell Memorial Scholarship in Studio Art. Audrey McDonald received the Heitzke Graphic Design Scholarship in honor of Sarah and Eschol Taylor. Chrissy Williamsen received the Mary Ann Culotta Scholarship.

“The Samford Art Gallery has had a particularly dynamic year of programming. We opened the fall semester with an international travelling group exhibition, Matter & Spirit, which connected us to artists and institutions from around the globe, then opened the spring semester with The Sum of Our Parts, a group exhibition showcasing 17 of Samford’s own Art and Design Faculty. We also had the pleasure of hosting two distinct solo exhibitions by visiting artists from out-of-state, Tad Gloeckler (architecture/interior design/sculpture) and Jamaal Barber (painting/printmaking/graphic design). In addition to engaging with our students through their accompanying artist talks and workshops, our visiting artists this year have each served as jurors of our annual student exhibition – Gloecker in Spring 2021 and Barber in Spring 2022. One of the things I love most about coordinating the gallery at Samford is being able to help facilitate these types of opportunities for meaningful engagement not only between our students and professional artists, but also with the wider community here in Birmingham. We have a fantastic line-up for our upcoming gallery season that promises to extend and strengthen our engagement with the community even further in the year ahead,” said Evans. 

The Art Gallery will present the work of graduating studio art seniors April 14-30 with a closing reception after graduation.  This summer, the Art Gallery will host Good on Paper - prints by Liz Chalfin and Noah Breuer, July 14 - September 8, 2022, an exhibition of contemporary printmaking that coincides with the Alabama Visual Arts Network's inaugural Alabama Printmaking Conference.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.